No. 154, in page 221, line 10, column 3, at end insert—
'Sections 102 and 103.
In section 105(2), paragraph (d) and, in the words following that paragraph, "maintenance contribution".'.
No. 155, in page 221, line 14, at end insert—
'1946 c. 50. The Education Act 1946. In Part II of the Second Schedule, the entry relating to section 102 of the Education Act 1944.
1953 c. 33. The Education (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1953. Section 8(1).
1959 c. 60, The Education Act 1959. The whole Act'.
No. 157, in page 221, line 16, column 3, at end insert
'In Schedule 1, paragraph 4'.
No. 159, in page 221, line 49, column 3, at end insert
In schedule 1, in paragraph 1(2) "102", paragraph 12, in paragraph 21 "(1) and" and paragraphs 22 and 23'.
No. 160, in page 221, line 52, column 3, at end insert—
'In Schedule 3, paragraphs 4 and 13'.—[Mr. Boswell.]
§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ 9.1 pm
§ Mr. Patten
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
The House has now debated the Bill for more than 160 hours on the Floor of the House and in Committee. The combination of two days' debate on Report and a two-day Second Reading debate is unprecedented for any education Bill in the history of the House, but it is fully justified. I am sure that whatever else may divide the House, we should agree about that.
The Bill is the longest education Bill ever—now 268 clauses. We made important additions to it in Committee. First, we gave special schools the important new freedom to apply for grant-maintained status. Secondly, by requiring governing bodies to consider grant-maintained status annually, we will ensure that parents are given every opportunity and every reason to make their voice heard on grant-maintained matters.
§ Mr. Bowis
May I tempt my right hon. Friend to take one more step towards local education authorities which 383 see the point of the Bill and support grant-maintained schools? Will he give them the right—it is right and proper that he should—to encourage the holding of ballots in schools in their areas?
§ Mr. Patten
I will certainly reflect carefully on that suggestion. It strikes me as likely that, in the next few years, a number of progressive and forward-looking local authorities will wish to encourage schools in their areas to go grant-maintained. I shall look carefully at the provision of clause 30 and, having reflected, perhaps move to have the matter considered further in the other place.
§ Mr. Patrick Thompson
My hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) mentioned ballots. Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the balloting process takes too long, and that there is concern about that?
§ Mr. Patten
It is right that there should be proper debate about whether a school or a group or a cluster of schools should move towards grant-maintained status. We have already done our best to shorten the ballot period, which seems unnecessarily long. I shall reflect carefully on the interesting suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Thompson) that we should make the balloting period as short as is consistent with free and open public debate. Having reflected on that matter. I may well urge my noble Friend Baroness Blatch to reflect on it further in the other place.
Clause 150 will allow local education authorities to continue to make available services relating to special educational needs. I have outlined three of the important additions to the Bill.
A number of amendments have been accepted and, in the past two days, we have discussed a number of amendments tabled by the Government as a result of commitments made by my hon. Friends in Committee. My hon. Friends the Members for Mid-Worcestershire (Mr. Forth) and for Daventry (Mr. Boswell), the Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State, performed magnificently in Committee. I am about to buy a suitable new tie for my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Worcestershire to remind him of his service at that stage. I understand that, when successful football matches end, the players sometimes exchange shirts. It may be that, here, ties will be exchanged. [Interruption.] I see that there is little demand for the tie that my hon. Friend is wearing, and certainly there is none for the one being worn by the hon. Member for Stretford (Mr. Lloyd).
The process has not yet finished. We are considering the responses to the exclusion proposals in the consultation document that was issued last November. It would not be right to amend the Bill further before completion of the consultation process.
I expect that we shall introduce further amendments in another place. These will ensure that we have the right mechanisms to deal with children who have been excluded from school, of whom there are too many. I want to be quite sure that, where children can be educated with their contemporaries in schools, that will happen. On the other hand, I am determined that, where this is not possible—where, for understandable reasons, control cannot be exercised in the classroom by hard-working teachers—proper arrangements will be made to provide pupils with a high-quality education and a measure of control in the community. This will be in the interests of the children 384 themselves, and will help to secure peace and quiet on streets and in communities. I recognise that there is a limit to what any head or classroom teacher can do.
We have listened also to requests that our proposals for groups or clusters of self-governing schools be made more flexible. We plan a number of changes to provide for this. For example, secondary schools will be allowed to become full members of groups, and we shall provide for associations of schools that will be looser than full clusters but will remain formal relationships under a scheme approved by the Secretary of State. I see these moves as important indications of our commitment to flexibility and to making self-governing status a real possibility for all schools, of whatever size, if that is the wish of parents.
The Bill puts in place the structures we need if our vision for education in the 21st century is to be made a reality. That vision is of a school system that will achieve international standards of excellence. When my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) spoke to the House on the occasion of the Third Reading of the Education Reform Bill 1988, he compared the achievements of our 16-year-olds with the achievements of pupils in the high schools of what was then West Germany in securing certificates in foreign languages, maths and the language of their own country.
At that time, less than 40 per cent. of English 16-year-olds attained qualifications equivalent to those of their West German counterparts. The figure is now 55 per cent. This is a measure of the improvement over the past five years, thanks to the national curriculum and to a regime of regular testing, for which I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley.
We can be confident that we are very much on the right track. Just a few years ago, only four out of 10 of our young people stayed in part-time or full-time education after the age of 16. The proportion is now between six and seven out of 10, and I predict that by 1996—by the time of the next general election—it will have reached eight out of 10. This will help the young people themselves to be happier and more fulfilled human beings, as well as helping the country.
A key element of future success will lie in giving schools the freedom to respond fully to their pupils' needs, to manage their own affairs and to raise their standards. We look forward with increasing confidence to a system of self-governing schools, each offering parents something slightly different within the framework of the national curriculum. We look forward to a system in which each school can play to its strengths, sometimes involving increased specialisation, competing both with other schools and with what it achieved the year before, enjoying the greatest possible autonomy, and accountable to the greatest degree to parents and pupils.
Finally, I want to thank all the hard-working teachers and governors who run the schools in this country for what they do for our children. I repeat my commitment to excellence across the education system. I want every school to realise the full potential of every child which it educates. Nothing less than that will do. Nothing less will guarantee our international economic competitiveness and our national, social and moral cohesion. I commend the Bill to the House.
§ Mrs. Ann Taylor (Dewsbury)
Hon. Members were not surprised that the Secretary of State was in his usual arrogant, boastful mood this evening. He boasted about the number of hours spent on the Bill. Of course, he was not present during most of those hours, because he was absent from the Committee. He boasted about the size of the Bill, as though he wanted to get into "The Guinness Book of Records" on size, but size is not everything.
My hon. Friend the Member for Bridgend (Mr. Griffiths) said that the Secretary of State's speech was more like a Second Reading speech than a Third Reading speech. Even at this late stage, the Secretary of State is having to confess that there are new problems which he has not thought through, and that amendments will have to be considered in another place. On Second Reading, Labour Members said that this was a bad Bill. In Committee and on Report, the Bill was made even worse, mainly because of the constant interference in terms of giving more powers to the Secretary of State.
Clearly, the Bill's theme has been to concentrate power in education in the hands of the Secretary of State. That is what is wrong with the Bill. It is wrong because it is not what is best for education, and it is wrong in terms of democratic accountability, especially when the Secretary of State takes such pride in not listening to teachers, whom he had the gall to praise a moment ago, and parents, whom he insulted with descriptions such as "neanderthal".
Time and again, the Secretary of State has chosen to grab more power. In many ways, the grabbing of power by the Secretary of State has highlighted some of the weaknesses in his argument and the failure of his policies, especially the precious grant-maintained policy. Grant-maintained schools have not mushroomed in Labour authorities, as the Government predicted. Instead, most grant-maintained schools are in Tory education areas. Clearly, if opting out is a sign of dissatisfaction with local authorities, parents have a higher level of dissatisfaction with Conservative authorities than with Labour ones.
The Secretary of State cannot face the decisions of parents and the fact that more then 24,000 schools are not even considering becoming grant maintained. He has decided to force governing bodies to discuss grant-maintained status each year. That says so much for his trust and respect of governors. He will have power to declare a ballot void if he chooses. That says so much for trusting the judgment of parents.
Clearly, when schools become grant maintained, they will not be opting out of local authority control. They will be opting in to centralised political control under the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. Bob Dunn (Dartford)
If the hon. Lady was Secretary of State for Education and wanted to close grammar schools in my constituency of Dartford, and if the people of Dartford voted in a referendum not to have those schools closed, what would she do? Would she keep them open or close them?
§ Mrs. Taylor
The idea that we are now to have a referendum in Dartford is a new one. I would be happy, if I were Secretary of State for Education—I am glad that the hon. Gentleman anticipates that—to seek to improve the opportunities for every child in Britain. I would not segregate children into successes and failures. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that issue. In 386 Committee, one of the few occasions on which Tory Back-Bench Members spoke was when selection was discussed. That is their hidden agenda. They do not want to talk about it, but selection is one of the objectives of the Bill.
The Secretary of State has often said that he is proud of the Bill, and that he will be a tough Secretary of State. But we cannot trust him with the powers in the Bill, not least because he is inconsistent in using his powers. He has said many times, and he repeated recently, that he intends to be tough on surplus places. He takes great pride in saying that he will be tough. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) obviously approves of that.
The Secretary of State has also said, boldly and directly, that he will not allow schools to opt out to avoid closure; yet, within the past few days, he has allowed Shire Oak community school in Walsall to become grants maintained. It was due to close, as a result of rationalisation of surplus places: it is operating at 51 per cent. capacity. The Secretary of State has allowed that school to opt out. So much for his statement to the House:I will not allow grant-maintained status to be used as a bolthole for failing schools".—[Official Report, 9 November 1992; Vol. 213, c. 651.]That is the Secretary of State's rhetoric, but we see the decisions he makes.
Of course we must object to the use of the guillotine on the Bill. Crucial amendments have not been discussed, such as the amendment—
§ Mrs. Taylor
There is no time, I am sorry. [Interruption.] I am sure that the hon. Gentleman understands that, because of the guillotine, there is not time to give way as much as I would normally do. I hope that he will listen to the point that I am about to make, because I am sure that he will be interested in it. I hope that Ministers will listen too.
I wish to give an example of the serious.and important amendments which should have been discussed during the passage of the Bill and have been ignored as a result of what has happened. [Interruption.] If the Minister will control his Parliamentary Private Secretary, we might have a debate.
Madam Deputy Speaker
Order. I do not know that the discipline in this class is as good as it might be.
§ Mrs. Taylor
Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am sure that you will have noticed where that indiscipline was coming from.
§ Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Is it in order on Third Reading for the hon. Lady to discuss an amendment which was not called?
§ Mrs. Taylor
I am sure that that is the case, but it is rather strange that the Secretary of State had to announce that he would consider so many new issues at a later stage.
One of the amendments that Madam Speaker selected, but on which discussion was not allowed, was suggested to me by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 387 to Children. It related to the responsibilities of grant-maintained schools and their failure to allow, in one case, a teacher to go to court to give evidence in a child abuse case because the school said that it could not afford to provide cover. Grant-maintained schools are not under the same obligation as local authority schools to release teachers in such circumstances, which is the sort of anomaly and serious problem that we should have been discussing.
The Secretary of State has shown us his priorities. Even as amended, the Bill does nothing to tackle the real education issues that face us: underfunding, which has caused schools in Tory-controlled Enfield to say that they cannot guarantee full-time education for all pupils next year; the cuts, which are challenging the very existence of nursery education in many areas; and the Government's total lack of commitment to nursery education.
The Bill does nothing to help those parents who are bewildered by the constant chopping and changing in the curriculum, the teachers who have had to administer discredited tests, or the governors who have to hold jumble sales to buy books.
The Bill does not deal with the important problem of class sizes—no doubt because the junior Minister said yesterday that he does not think that they are important. The Government's obsession with grant-maintained status and the market comes before everything else. This is a bad Bill, which will damage our children's educational opportunities and concentrate too much power in the hands of the Secretary of State and Opposition Members will oppose it.
§ Mr. George Walden
May I resume the speech that I began yesterday, Madam Deputy Speaker? The Official Report states:
§ "Mr. George Walden (Buckingham)
I welcome the new clause as I welcome the Bill. Far from doing what the hon.
Member for Wallsend (Mr. Byers)"—
I am glad to see him in his place—and other members of the Opposition parties have alleged, the new clause will introduce a more equitable distribution of powers between the Government and the councils—It being Six o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER, pursuant to Order [15 December] and Resolution this day, put the Question".— [0fficial Report, 2 March 1993; Vol. 220, c. 179.]New clause 22 is obviously the most important clause in the Bill and it will bring about a more equitable distribution of power between the Government, councils and schools. Everyone failed to realise that, as Lenin once said, it was a case ofall power to the soviets"—soviets meaning the councils. Previously all power resided in the councils. The Department of Education and Science had minimal powers. Anyone who contests that should look closely at its shoddy, substandard 1960s building, which mirrors the shoddy, substandard educational standards that have reigned in Britain since that time. The building contained only a small number of officials because all the power resided with the councils and none in London or with the schools.
§ Mr. Walden
I shall certainly do so when I have finished this point.
Clause 22 redistributes power equitably, more towards the centre, and is the most important provision in the Bill.
388 Why should more power go to the centre? Because that is necessary to control devolution of power to the schools, leaving some powers in the middle, with the councils. From that point of view, the Bill seems fair and equitable.
§ Mr. Walden
I am being urged by my hon. Friends not to give way. I had better not as I have a lot to get through.
Unfortunately, I have to criticise my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, as there is a major contradiction in the clause that I have just lauded.
Clause 22 states that the Secretary of State will encouragediversity and increasing opportunities for choice.Given the present climate in Britain, that is nonsense. Some 86 per cent. of our schools are comprehensive. Therefore, the realistic choice and diversity—even with grant-maintained schools—for normal parents will be either to send their children to a comprehensive school, with all that that means in terms of the philosophy of education, or to pay for them to get out of the system, which I do. I do not agree with the philosophy governing comprehensive education in this country. But those of us who can afford to opt out of the system are few and far between for financial reasons.
Therefore, there is a major contradiction as—[Interruption.] I am about to make my argument; hon. Members must wait. In reality, the choice is between a public school, which with its expensive fees is totally inaccessible to most people in this country, and the dogma of comprehensive education. Therefore—here is my argument—I should like my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to amalgamate the perfectly reasonable powers in new clause 22 with another part of the Bill dealing with the technology schools initiative and introduce in this country, where possible, a diversity of types of school to give us a more continental and far more successful system with genuine choice and excellence. It would include selection by aptitude, of which they are riot afraid on the continent.
If one is born to a low-income family on the continent, one has a damn sight more opportunity to get on in society than we do in our class-obsessed country, which has given rise to the comprehensive system, the whole ethos of which is to keep down standards for everyone.
Madam Deputy Speaker
Order. It is reaching a point where I cannot hear the words of the hon. Member who has the Floor—[HON. MEMBERS: "He is speaking rubbish."] That may be a matter of opinion, but the tradition of the House is that hon. Members allow others to speak even when they disagree with them—a tradition that I intend to maintain. Hon. Members who indulge in too many sedentary interventions may find it difficult to catch my eye when they wish to speak formally.
§ Mr. Walden
I should be horrified if you, Madam Deputy Speaker, missed anything that I had to say as I believe it to be true.
Comprehensives have failed—[Interruption.] I quote Professor A. H. Halsey, from last week, not yesterday. The professor wobbles around like a Russian doll and scares the hell out of the Opposition when he does. But he never 389 quite falls over and assures us that he is an ethical socialist. What is so ethical about condemning generations of people from low-income families in this country to low expectations in education, which is what Professor Halsey and Opposition Members have done? I know what I am talking about as I went through the state system—and when I was not in a comfortable financial position.
I am keen that we should raise the sights of people in this country so that they come closer to approaching the ambitions of those on the continent, where I have personal experience. At present, under the comprehensive system we have a system of institutionalised mediocrity. When we talk about the state of our young, and the state of law and order, Opposition Members, including the Labour Front Bench home affairs spokesman, the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair), should consider whether comprehensive schools, with their lax academic and disciplinary expectations, have done anything to contribute to law and order. Let us have an honest debate on the subject, not merely a tactical one.
My practical message for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is that, when he is considering applications for grant-maintained schools, he should encourage applications under the technology schools initiative to produce a genuine diversity of types of schools for people, particularly from low-income families, in the cities, so that those children have the same effective choice that well-to-do children have.
I do not believe that, because people live in inner cities, they should not learn, say, the classics. I do not believe that that should be the effective preserve, as it is at the moment, of people with money who can afford to go to private schools, which is the reality. They should have the option of going to an acadmically demanding grammar-type school based on aptitude.
There should also be, as on the continent—the more advanced and more enligthened continent—high-grade technology schools,, expensively well equipped, my right hon. Friend must note, for children whose aptitudes lie in another direction. Those children deserve the effective choice that people who happen to be born to more well-to-do families in effect have.
That brings me to the second point, which has been extremely well covered by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Mr. Rathbone). I do not understand, and have never understood, the Government's attitude to nursery education. The social reality is that people such as myself who are not rich but have a bit of money buy nursery education for our children. We do that for two reasons. First, it gives them a head start. We do not need studies to know that. We know that that is true. Secondly, it gives my wife, not to speak of myself, a little more free time than we might otherwise have.
So let us not have studies about nursery education. Let us get on with nursery education for everyone, not just for people with money. Besides being obviously educationally beneficial, besides being useful for wives—most of them —who deserve more free time, nursery education, as common, ordinary, sensible people know, helps to get the children early, at the age of two or three, so that they stand a much greater chance of not ending up in the juvenile court.
390 Under the nursery regime, which does not mirror the mistaken permissiveness of the 1960s but is a serious, organised educational regime, in which something is expected of the child in terms of social behaviour and in terms of beginning to know how to learn, even at the age of three, not only will society be helped but the present abysmally low expectations in primary schools in this self-congratulatory country of ours will be boosted, as they will be in the secondary schools.
One day we may even get ourselves to the level where we can safely expand our A-levels in the way that they should be expanded without diluting them across the board in the way in which the education industry would like to do today.
For all those reasons, I recommend to the Government that, irrespective of party political points of view, nursery education has become a socially as well as an educationally vital issue in Britain. If Liverpool does not demonstrate that, I do not know what it does demonstrate.
Finally, you will be glad to hear, Madam Speaker, it would be irresponsible for any hon. Member to make the sort of intervention that I have made with all its cost implications without saying from where the money will come. I have told my right hon. Friend that to have genuine diversity of schools he will have to spend a lot more on the technology colleges. They must be well equipped. They must be centres of hope in the deprived areas of the country.
§ Mr. Walden
Agreed. They must look good. They have to recruit highly qualified, difficult-to-get teachers in physics, maths and the fairly rare and highly skilled technologies. All that costs money. Nursery schools cost money. I have been given a figure of fl billion and it will probably turn out to be more. We do not have that money because we are £50 billion in debt, so we must get it from the public.
I hope that Labour Members will listen carefully, because wisely—I commend the Leader of the Opposition for this—Labour has established a commission to examine universal benefits. I can identify one universal benefit from which billions of pounds could be saved, although some of my right hon. and hon. Friends might not like it. I have gone on for many years about mortgage tax relief and I seem to be getting somewhere with that argument, but let us look now at child benefit, which is indiscriminately flashed around the middle classes. The women, they tell me, like to get it—
§ Madam Speaker
Order. The hon. Gentleman is straying far from the purpose of the Third Reading debate, which is to discuss the contents of the Bill. Benefits are not among them.
§ Mr. Walden
I am sure that you, Madam Speaker, agree that it would be remiss and irresponsible of me to talk about the technology schools initiative and nursery education, which are in the Bill, and to make recommendations involving Government expenditure, without briefly explaining where that money is to come from—
§ Madam Speaker
Order. It would be irresponsible of the hon. Gentleman if he did not allow other right hon. and hon. Members to participate in the debate.
§ Mr. Walden
For that reason if no other, Madam Speaker—because I see that I am causing a little consternation among Opposition Members—I will sit down, having said that the major changes that I recommended should be explained to the country frankly. It should be explained that they will cost money and that that money should come from curtailing the universal handout of child benefit to the middle classes—to the middle-income groups. It should be explained that the money will be returned to education, because there can be no better benefit to all our children—particularly deprived children—than spending money on education.
§ Dr. Wright
Unlike the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Walden), I shall be brief.
Ever since the White Paper that led to the Bill first appeared, I have been searching for its meaning. What did it mean? What does it mean to make legislation in this way? What does it mean to offer consultation, yet not to consult? What does it mean to drive through proposals without consultation? What does it mean to ask for advice but not to take it? What does it mean to deny a level playing field when people ask for one?
What does it mean when people who express proper concerns about the education service—as people in Staffordshire have done in respect of the music service, which other hon. Members mentioned, and many other services—are simply turned away with mutterings about "producers' interests"?
What is meant by some or all the most surreal moments we have experienced? In yesterday's debate, we were told of a retired headmaster in Chelmsford who was supposed to have committed the most heinous crime of distributing leaflets giving his views about an opt-out proposal.
§ Mr. Simon Burns (Chelmsford)
Clearly the hon. Gentleman has not seen the leaflet and does not understand the situation in Chelmsford, and I am sure that he would not want to mislead the House. The reasons that teachers at the school in question were so outraged was that the leaflet was patently untrue and dishonest in the way that it tried to con parents into believing something.
§ Dr. Wright
The hon. Gentleman has made my point for me: he did not like the arguments in that leaflet. This is an important point: it tells us a good deal about the kind of government, the kind of legislation and the kind of politics that have been created. Yesterday, the hon. Gentleman described that retired headmaser as disgusting; the Minister said that the arguments were intimidating. In a free society, a retired headmaster was described as disgusting and intimidating because he had had the temerity to distribute some leaflets. He did that because he felt that there was a threat to the education service to which he had devoted his life. That is the kind of response that we get from this Government.
Anyway, there I was, searching for the meaning of the Bill sensing that it had something to do with the Government's ideological mission, and then discovering that the Government's determination to destroy local education authorities was given far more priority than any interest in what was happening to the service that those authorities were delivering. That has become abundantly clear as we have asked questions about specific aspects of 392 the Bill, and have received no answer except "Somehow, the market will provide". We are talking about libraries, orchestras, and all the other services that affect the quality of life. We are told that that does not matter; somehow, the market will provide.
There I was, searching for the meaning of the Bill. Eventually, I found it—courtesy, as it happens, of the hon. Member for Buckingham: the outcome could not have been more fortuitous. It so happens that the hon. Gentleman followed the maiden speech that I made some months ago, and advised me to read a book—[Laughter.] He obviously felt that I needed to read a book. The book in question was by Ferdinand Mount; many Conservative Members, if not Opposition Members, will know that Ferdinand Mount used to be the director of the Centre for Policy Studies, the great Thatcherite think tank. He was also editor of The Spectator, and adviser to the departed leader.
I read that book and it answered the question that I was asking—"What is this legislation about?" Ferdinand Mount had come across a lecture given by the Secretary of State to the Conservative Political Centre a year or so ago; he felt that that lecture was the epitome of the current trend of thought. I cannot resist sharing his views with the House. We have heard a good deal about—
§ Madam Speaker
Order. I remind the House that, on Third Reading, hon. Members must debate precisely what is contained in the Bill—not what might be in the Bill; not what is not in the Bill; but what is now in the Bill, as amended, if it has been amended. We must be precise about that; otherwise I shall have to draw the facts to the attention of all hon. Members again, and I do not want to waste any more time.
§ Dr. Wright
Thank you, Madam Speaker. My reason for sharing Ferdinand Mount's views with the House is that I think that I have discovered the kernel—the crystal —of the Bill, and I think that I can express it in a sentence. I am sure that it would be helpful if I did so; it would be a shame to deny the House the meaning of the Bill, as interpreted by Ferdinand Mount. He says:the sad truth is that the terms in which Mr. Patten proceeds to discuss our political culture do not suggest that it has endowed him with that understanding of the British Constitution which would have come as second nature to a highly intelligent youngish politician of an earlier generation…'All power to Parliament' is thus Mr. Patten's cry, faintly but unnervingly reminiscent of Lenin's 'All power to the soviets'—and not without the same fraudulence, since both slogans mean in effect 'All power to the government or governing party'. What seems alien to both Lenin and Mr. Patten is the idea of dispersal of power to a variety of institutions—whether parallel, independent or subordinate.You now see, Madam Speaker, why I wanted to share that with the House. Suddenly, all was clear. The essential meaning of the Bill is distilled in that quotation. It uses the language of choice but in reality it is about rigid centralism. That is what it is about and that is what it will be remembered for. It claims to be about education but it is about something quite different. The tragedy is that another Government will one day have to pick up its consequences.
§ Dr. Robert Spink (Castle Point)
I thank the hon. Member for Cannock and Burntwood for giving way to me.
§ Madam Speaker
Order. I need to be clear: has the hon. Member for Cannock and Burntwood (Dr. Wright) completed his speech or given way?
§ Mr. David Faber (Westbury)
I shall not follow the ranting of the hon. Member for Cannock and Burntwood (Dr. Wright), which would have been more appropriate for the Balliol junior common room than for the House.
In Committee and during the past two days, we have heard many claims by the Opposition that the Bill will somehow destroy local democracy and that it is centralising legislation. To those of us fortunate enough to have grant-maintained schools in our constituencies and to know them well, that seems an incredible suggestion as we see true local democracy at work for ourselves.
The truth is that the grant-maintained system in general and the Bill in particular helps to enhance local democracy, not destroy it. Throughout our reform process, we have sought to devolve powers to the very lowest level. Governing bodies are directly accountable to parents and to the local communities which they serve. They feel more involved and believe that the decisions they are taking matter.
The proof is that large numbers of parents are coming forward to serve as governors and are turning out in greater numbers than ever before in ballots. The average is about 60 per cent., well above that in local county council elections. We heard the latest figures for grant-maintained schools from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State at Question Time yesterday. I shall not repeat them now.
There has been much debate in Committee and during the past couple of days on the reasons why schools opt for grant-maintained status. The Opposition spoke of bribes, but were ably answered yesterday, as always, by my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey), who said that if freedom is a bribe, bribes are indeed available. What is on offer is freedom from local education authorities, the freedom to decide the course of one's own school and the freedom as to how one's money should be spent. We are well aware of the benefits—increased pupil numbers, the freedom and ability to employ more teachers, and to improve pupil-teacher ratios, new curriculum subjects and, as I have been able to see at first hand, greater resources available for and, more important, given to special educational needs.
Above all, grant-maintained status plays a crucial role in maintaining the impetus to improve standards. GCSE grades in these schools have improved above the national average and parents are now voting to send their children there to get the best possible education for them.
In Wiltshire we are fortunate not to suffer the worst excesses of intimidation and misinformation put about in so many LEAs by opponents of grant-maintained status. However, even there, we still suffer ill-informed and inaccurate public lobbying against grant-maintained status, usually by local politicians for dogmatic rather than well-thought-out reasons and sadly, all too often, at some distance from the local school and community to which they refer. They also usually fly in the face of the recommendations of governors and head teachers.
394 I warmly welcome the Bill's measures to tackle any form of intimidation or misinformation, at the ballot stage and subsequently, and I also welcome the further measures announced today by my right hon. Friend.
Conservative Members sat and marvelled in Committee at the repetitive flow of socialist dogma and educationist theory that we had to put up with. We should not be surprised. After the Labour party's fourth consecutive election defeat last year, there was a brief reforming ray of light. The hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) issued a press release on 10 June saying:some LEAs may wish to consider local referenda among all parents to test opinion on key issues".That sounds to me like parental ballots on opting out. The hon. Gentleman continued:parents and governors may feel bound to make decisions about what they think is best for their school. Labour must not appear to be placed in a hostile position of opposition to such parents.Sadly, the shutters came down all too quickly. The Labour party is again committed to abolishing grant-maintained schools and putting them back into local education authority control. At the Labour party conference last year, the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mrs. Taylor) said:We oppose opt-out in principle because it is wrong. It is wrong in principle for a group of parents to be able to hijack a school".I wonder what the parents of the 236,000 children now at grant-maintained schools—the number rises daily—will feel about that. I wonder what they think of being accused of hijacking their own children's education and seeking to improve it.
I can do no better than remind the House of the words of the former leader of the Labour group on Wiltshire county council, who last year dramatically resigned from the Labour party and crossed to the Conservatives. Speaking of Labour policy on education among other subjects, he said:The Labour Party is today, at national and local level, in a state of total confusion, quite unable to put forward ideas to meet the problems of the modern world. Many of the rank and file still cling to ideas that are twenty to thirty years out of date and show little imagination in their simple, doctrinaire slogans of political frustration.It is this Conservative Government who are making the radical changes needed to raise standards and safeguard our children's education for the future.
§ Mr. Win Griffiths
I was amazed at the speech of the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Walden), who showed a breathtaking disregard of history and of the fact that a Tory Government have been in power for the past 14 years —a Tory Government in which he played a small part. Then I discovered the reason for the hon. Gentleman's disregard of history. He had the benefit of an education at Moscow university at the height of the Stalinist comeback after Kruschev's fall. All was revealed by that knowledge.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I am sorry; I have been advised that I have not enough time—and, on reflection, I have not.
§ Mr. Walden
Yes, Madam Speaker. It is personally hurtful to me to he accused, albeit tangentially, of being in any way influenced by Stalin. The hon. Member for Bridgend should have known that Stalin died in 1953. I was a British Council postgraduate student at Moscow university in the time of Kruschev. The hon. Gentleman's history is deficient.
§ Madam Speaker
Order. The hon. Member for Buckingham, who has clearly had a good education, should know very well that that is not a point of order for me and he should not waste the time of the House.
§ Mr. Griffiths
The hon. Member for Buckingham talked about genuine quality and his fears about standards. Over the past 14 years we have had an increase in illiteracy for the first time and at the beginning of the 1990s reading standards in primary schools declined for the first time since records began. If there is any fault, it must be in the past 14 years of Conservative Government. As for poorly equipped schools, parents are having to dip into their pockets to make up for Government underfunding.
I agree with the hon. Gentleman on one point. The Conservative party has been absolutely misguided in jettisoning the commitment in 1972 of the former Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher, to provide places for all three and four-year-olds in nursery education within 10 years. The Home Secretary, when he was Secretary of State for Education, jettisoned that target and the money resolution in the Bill has prevented us from discussing nursery education.
In conclusion, the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Faber) talked about the abolition of grant-maintained schools. We do not intend to abolish the schools. We intend to abolish the undemocratic, unaccountable funding council and allow the schools to manage themselves in the same way as any good LEA schools and to look again at the funding formula so that all schools are decently treated.
§ Mr. Forth
We have just heard quite the quickest U-turn in policy that we have ever witnessed. Only yesterday, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State predicted that the Labour party would have to accept the concept of grant-maintained schools and within 24 hours it has done so. It is a remarkable tribute to the powers of persuasion of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I am grateful to the hon. Member for Bridgend (Mr. Griffiths) for that startling revelation.
§ Mr. Griffiths
Let me point out that I said that we would not be abolishing the schools, but the funding council, to allow the schools to be managed in the same way as any good local authority school, and to review the funding formula so that it is fair.
§ Mr. Forth
On reflection, that may be a double U-turn —the quickest one we have ever heard in the House.
Let there be no mistake; this is a far-reaching Bill. It is deliberately so and marks among other things the end of the long-standing local education authority monopoly of state school provision—something which all Conservative Members and an increasing number of parents will welcome.
396 The Bill is also a continuity of the policies that we have pursued throughout the 1980s and into this decade. It is a continuity of policy on special educational needs, on choice and on diversity of schools, about which my hon. Friend the Member for Buckingham (Mr. Walden) spoke so eloquently a few moments ago.
Ever since we published our White Paper last year, all that we have heard throughout the stages of the Bill is dreary criticism from the producer interests driving Opposition Members into the usual litany of complaint and negativism about everything that we have done to improve standards of education—something to which we are dedicated and to which Opposition Members seem constantly to be blind in everything they say and do.
Opposition Members accuse us of centralisation, yet we wish to give real powers of decision in making priorities and spending money to parents, governors and teachers and not to the bureaucracy of the local education authorities which call the tune to which Opposition Members dance whenever they are asked or told. The Opposition's position is no more or less than special pleading of the worst possible kind and we reject it out of hand.
The Bill provides a framework for the growing grant-maintained school sector, a new deal for pupils with special educational needs and a new body to deal with the curriculum, assessment and testing—something which is of key importance and at the heart of excellence in education to which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State are dedicated.
§ Mr. Alan Meale (Mansfield)
On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Would it be possible for the Minister to face this side of the House or the Chair as many Opposition Members cannot hear a word he is saying? He is talking only to his hon. Friends.
Madam Speaker: I always prefer to see the handsome profile of a Member rather than his bald patch.
§ Mr. Forth
I am grateful for your guidance and advice, Madam Speaker. Perhaps you could give me some tonsorial advice later after we have completed our considerations.
The Bill is of crucial importance to the future of education. It contains all the elements that I have described to the House. I commend it to the House because I believe that it will provide a high quality of education for all our children.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 282, Noes 252.400
|Division No. 171||[9.59 pm|
|Adley, Robert||Bates, Michael|
|Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)||Batiste, Spencer|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Bellingham, Henry|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)||Bendall, Vivian|
|Amess, David||Beresford, Sir Paul|
|Ancram, Michael||Biffen, Rt Hon John|
|Arbuthnot, James||Blackburn, Dr John G.|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Body, Sir Richard|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Bonsor, Sir Nicholas|
|Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)||Booth, Hartley|
|Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)||Boswell, Tim|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)||Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)||Bowden, Andrew|
|Baldry, Tony||Bowis, John|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes||Greenway, John (Ryedale)|
|Brandreth, Gyles||Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)|
|Brazier, Julian||Grylls, Sir Michael|
|Bright, Graham||Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Hague, William|
|Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Browning, Mrs. Angela||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)||Hannam, Sir John|
|Burns, Simon||Hargreaves, Andrew|
|Burt, Alistair||Harris, David|
|Butcher, John||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Butler, Peter||Hawkins, Nick|
|Butterfill, John||Hawksley, Warren|
|Carlisle, John (Luton North)||Hayes, Jerry|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Heald, Oliver|
|Carrington, Matthew||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Carttiss, Michael||Hendry, Charles|
|Cash, William||Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hill, James (Southampton Test)|
|Clappison, James||Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Horam, John|
|Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)||Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey||Howard, Rt Hon Michael|
|Coe, Sebastian||Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)|
|Congdon, David||Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Conway, Derek||Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)||Hunter, Andrew|
|Coombs, Simon (Swindon)||Jack, Michael|
|Cope, Rt Hon Sir John||Jackson, Robert (Wantage)|
|Cormack, Patrick||Jenkin, Bernard|
|Couchman, James||Jessel, Toby|
|Cran, James||Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)||Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)|
|Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)||Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine|
|Day, Stephen||Key, Robert|
|Deva, Nirj Joseph||Kilfedder, Sir James|
|Devlin, Tim||Knapman, Roger|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Knight, Greg (Derby N)|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)|
|Dover, Den||Knox, David|
|Duncan, Alan||Kynoch, George (Kincardine)|
|Duncan-Smith, Iain||Lait, Mrs Jacqui|
|Dunn, Bob||Lang, Rt Hon Ian|
|Durant, Sir Anthony||Leigh, Edward|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lidington, David|
|Eggar, Tim||Lightbown, David|
|Elletson, Harold||Lilley, Rt Hon Peter|
|Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)||Lord, Michael|
|Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)||Luff, Peter|
|Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)||Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas|
|Evans, Roger (Monmouth)||MacGregor, Rt Hon John|
|Evennett, David||MacKay, Andrew|
|Faber, David||Maclean, David|
|Fabricant, Michael||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas||McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick|
|Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)||Madel, David|
|Fishburn, Dudley||Maitland, Lady Olga|
|Forman, Nigel||Malone, Gerald|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)||Mans, Keith|
|Forth, Eric||Marlow, Tony|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman||Marshall, John (Hendon S)|
|Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)||Martin, David (Portsmouth S)|
|Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)||Mawhinney, Dr Brian|
|Freeman, Roger||Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick|
|French, Douglas||Mellor, Rt Hon David|
|Fry, Peter||Merchant, Piers|
|Gale, Roger||Milligan, Stephen|
|Gallie, Phil||Mills, Iain|
|Gardiner, Sir George||Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)|
|Garnier, Edward||Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)|
|Gillan, Cheryl||Monro, Sir Hector|
|Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair||Montgomery, Sir Fergus|
|Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles||Moss, Malcolm|
|Gorst, John||Needham, Richard|
|Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)||Nelson, Anthony|
|Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)||Neubert, Sir Michael|
|Newton, Rt Hon Tony||Sproat, Iain|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Steen, Anthony|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Stephen, Michael|
|Norris, Steve||Stern, Michael|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley||Stewart, Allan|
|Ottaway, Richard||Streeter, Gary|
|Page, Richard||Sumberg, David|
|Paice, James||Sweeney, Walter|
|Patnick, Irvine||Sykes, John|
|Patten, Rt Hon John||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Pawsey, James||Taylor, John M. (Solihull)|
|Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth||Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)|
|Pickles, Eric||Thomason, Roy|
|Porter, Barry (Wirral S)||Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Portillo, Rt Hon Michael||Thurnham, Peter|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Rathbone, Tim||Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)|
|Redwood, John||Tracey, Richard|
|Renton, Rt Hon Tim||Tredinnick, David|
|Richards, Rod||Trend, Michael|
|Riddick, Graham||Trotter, Neville|
|Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Robathan, Andrew||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn||Viggers, Peter|
|Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)||Waldegrave, Rt Hon William|
|Robinson, Mark (Somerton)||Walden, George|
|Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)||Walker, Bill (N Tayside)|
|Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)||Waller, Gary|
|Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela||Ward, John|
|Sackville, Tom||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim||Waterson, Nigel|
|Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas||Wells, Bowen|
|Shaw, David (Dover)||Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)||Whitney, Ray|
|Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian||Whittingdale, John|
|Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Shersby, Michael||Wilkinson, John|
|Sims, Roger||Willetts, David|
|Skeet, Sir Trevor||Wilshire, David|
|Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)||Wolfson, Mark|
|Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)||Yeo, Tim|
|Soames, Nicholas||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Spencer, Sir Derek|
|Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Spink, Dr Robert||Mr. Timothy Wood and|
|Spring, Richard||Mr. Timothy Kirkhope.|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Bray, Dr Jeremy|
|Adams, Mrs Irene||Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)|
|Ainger, Nick||Burden, Richard|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Byers, Stephen|
|Allen, Graham||Caborn, Richard|
|Alton, David||Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)|
|Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)||Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Campbell-Savours, D. N.|
|Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy||Cann, Jamie|
|Ashton, Joe||Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)|
|Austin-Walker, John||Chisholm, Malcolm|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Clapham, Michael|
|Barnes, Harry||Clark, Dr David (South Shields)|
|Barron, Kevin||Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)|
|Battle, John||Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)|
|Bayley, Hugh||Clelland, David|
|Bell, Stuart||Clwyd, Mrs Ann|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Coffey, Ann|
|Bennett, Andrew F.||Cohen, Harry|
|Benton, Joe||Connarty, Michael|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Corbett, Robin|
|Berry, Dr. Roger||Corbyn, Jeremy|
|Betts, Clive||Cousins, Jim|
|Blunkett, David||Cryer, Bob|
|Boateng, Paul||Cunliffe, Lawrence|
|Boyce, Jimmy||Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)|
|Boyes, Roland||Dafis, Cynog|
|Bradley, Keith||Dalyell, Tam|
|Darling, Alistair||Hill, Keith (Streatham)|
|Davidson, Ian||Hinchliffe, David|
|Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)||Hoey, Kate|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)||Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)|
|Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)||Home Robertson, John|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)||Hood, Jimmy|
|Denham, John||Hoon, Geoffrey|
|Dewar, Donald||Howarth, George (Knowsley N)|
|Dixon, Don||Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)|
|Dobson, Frank||Hoyle, Doug|
|Donohoe, Brian H.||Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)|
|Dowd, Jim||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Dunnachie, Jimmy||Hughes, Roy (Newport E)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth||Hutton, John|
|Eagle, Ms Angela||Illsley, Eric|
|Eastham, Ken||Ingram, Adam|
|Enright, Derek||Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)|
|Etherington, Bill||Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)|
|Evans, John (St Helens N)||Jamieson, David|
|Fatchett, Derek||Janner, Greville|
|Faulds, Andrew||Johnston, Sir Russell|
|Field, Frank (Birkenhead)||Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)|
|Fisher, Mark||Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)|
|Flynn, Paul||Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)|
|Foster, Rt Hon Derek||Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)|
|Foster, Don (Bath)||Jowell, Tessa|
|Fraser, John||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Fyfe, Maria||Keen, Alan|
|Galbraith, Sam||Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S)|
|Gapes, Mike||Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)|
|Garrett, John||Khabra, Piara S.|
|George, Bruce||Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)|
|Gerrard, Neil||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Leighton, Ron|
|Godman, Dr Norman A.||Lewis, Terry|
|Godsiff, Roger||Litherland, Robert|
|Golding, Mrs Llin||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Gordon, Mildred||Llwyd, Elfyn|
|Graham, Thomas||Loyden, Eddie|
|Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)||Lynne, Ms Liz|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||McAllion, John|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||McAvoy, Thomas|
|Gunnell, John||McCartney, Ian|
|Hain, Peter||Macdonald, Calum|
|Hall, Mike||McFall, John|
|Hanson, David||McKelvey, William|
|Harman, Ms Harriet||Mackinlay, Andrew|
|Harvey, Nick||Maclennan, Robert|
|Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||McMaster, Gordon|
|Henderson, Doug||McWilliam, John|
|Heppell, John||Madden, Max|
|Mahon, Alice||Rooney, Terry|
|Mandelson, Peter||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|Marek, Dr John||Ruddock, Joan|
|Marshall, David (Shettleston)||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Martlew, Eric||Sheerman, Barry|
|Maxton, John||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Meacher, Michael||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Michael, Alun||Short, Clare|
|Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)||Simpson, Alan|
|Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Milburn, Alan||Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Miller, Andrew||Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|Morgan, Rhodri||Snape, Peter|
|Morley, Elliot||Soley, Clive|
|Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)||Spellar, John|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)|
|Mowlam, Marjorie||Steel, Rt Hon Sir David|
|Mudie, George||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Mullin, Chris||Stott, Roger|
|Murphy, Paul||Strang, Dr. Gavin|
|Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon||Straw, Jack|
|O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|O'Brien, William (Normanton)||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|O'Hara, Edward||Tipping, Paddy|
|Olner, William||Turner, Dennis|
|Parry, Robert||Tyler, Paul|
|Pendry, Tom||Vaz, Keith|
|Pickthall, Colin||Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold|
|Pike, Peter L.||Wallace, James|
|Pope, Greg||Walley, Joan|
|Powell, Ray (Ogmore)||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Prescott, John||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)|
|Primarolo, Dawn||Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)|
|Purchase, Ken||Wilson, Brian|
|Quin, Ms Joyce||Winnick, David|
|Randall, Stuart||Wise, Audrey|
|Raynsford, Nick||Worthington, Tony|
|Redmond, Martin||Wray, Jimmy|
|Reid, Dr John||Wright, Dr Tony|
|Robertson, George (Hamilton)||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)|
|Roche, Mrs. Barbara||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Rogers, Allan||Mr. Alan Meale and|
|Rooker, Jeff||Mr. Peter Kilfoyle.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Bill read the Third time, and passed.